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If you swim competively it is important to know how to swim butterfly properly and also quickly.
- Know your other swimming strokes first. Generally butterfly is the last stroke to be introduced when training for competitive swimming. It requires strength of body and endurance skills, which you should have been building up before through other strokes before attempting butterfly.
- Get a swim coach. Although it's possible to self-teach butterfly, a knowledgable swim instructor is invaluable.
- Learn the kick. The butterfly kick is the fundamental movement of the butterfly. The legs will stay together in a "mermaid" or "dolphin" kick in a fluid wavelike motion. It may be easiest to learn this first wearing flippers , however a kickboard shouldn't be used as this gives the body the wrong shape, and doesn't represent how the body should be.
- Learn the kick cadence. At first this won't make sense, but you will make one medium-sized kick followed by a larger kick.
- Now your arms into action. When your head breaks the surface proceed to moving the arms. You perform the arms by making a large circular swooping motion. Your arms start at the back first and then brings them together up out of the water, bringing them together directly in front of you. When your hands reach the water surface once again, continue making a keyhole-shaped motion with your hands.
- Kick once underwater (a larger kick) before breathing and extending arms out again.
- Before you make the next armstroke, complete a short kick.
- Once you hit the wall, touch with two hands and push off. Not doing a two hand touch will result in a disqualification, so remember!
- Practice makes perfect, especially with this stroke, so try and try again.
- Technique first! It's nearly impossible to swim the fly without good technique. Plus, if you go fast but have bad technique, you could get DQed on a fast swim.
- Be sure to undulate on your stroke! Use your center of gravity to propel yourself as much as possible.
- When taking a stroke, try to bring the backs of the hands together as close as possible when you swing your arms to the front.
- Lifting your arms up as much as possible on the recovery does not make the stroke easier. While it may seem to lessen resistance on your arms, it changes your body position from horizontal in the water to a more vertical position, hence the saying "swimming up hill." if you have your hands about an inch above the water you should maximize your stroke efficiency.
- You can save time and energy by learning to do more than one kick per stroke.
- Be sure to press with your chest, it should help you with your undulation.
- Don't breathe every stroke this could make swimming it very difficult try every other stroke, or less if you can.
- Do not be discouraged; although this is a hard stroke for most, you are fully capable of achieving a 50 meter swim in 35 seconds when fully competitive.
- Don't eat too much before swimming. Butterfly is a very tiring stroke, be sure not to eat too much before swimming, to avoid cramps.
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